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By Sharon Sperry Bloom


under your voodoo
Under Your Voodoo, 27″x 22.5″acrylic on stretched canvas, painting © 2007 by Sharon Sperry Bloom. All rights reserved.


            vloop
            Vloop, 18″x 24″acrylic on stretched canvas, painting © 2007
            by Sharon Sperry Bloom. All rights reserved.



untitled
Untitled, 20″x 16″acrylic on stretched canvas, painting © 2007 by Sharon Sperry Bloom. All rights reserved.


            War
            War, 18″x 24″acrylic on stretched canvas, painting © 2007
            by Sharon Sperry Bloom. All rights reserved.


          
          “Love & Happiness,” 18″x 24″acrylic on stretched canvas, painting 
          © 2007 by Sharon Sperry Bloom. All rights reserved.


Making Art, An Essay by Sharon Sperry Bloom

When I was a young child, I took ballet. Not to the level of standing on point, but there were recitals at the elementary school multi-purpose room and my mom sewed costumes with fluffy tutus and glued sequins on ballet slippers. I never got to be in the front row of my group. It wasn’t because of poor technique; I could plié like nobody’s business. I just couldn’t remember the sequence of steps. I was a follower in ballet – a back row ballerina.

One recital we all had itchy gold costumes with red-trimmed tutus and red plastic flowers in our hair. The music was vaguely Spanish. During recital, those flowers flew right off my head. After our dance, the instructor and my parents were beaming at me. Me! From the back row! They were full of praise because I ignored the errant flowers and kept my chin high as I continued my performance. Truth is, I never noticed the flying blooms.

The ballet lessons ended when my dad was laid off from his job with General Motors. Dad worked as a technical writer, and I can remember him changing jobs every few years. Sometimes he wrote owner’s manuals for cars; other times he wrote specifications for army tanks. Once he had a big glass-walled office in a tall building, and my brother and I got to visit him there and watch cars and trucks go around on the freeway interchange below.

Mom told me years later she worried I would be upset about not being able to continue with ballet lessons. Truth is, I never noticed.

These were the days before we had soccer. I was always doing something though. There were swimming lessons, from Guppies and Minnows all the way on to synchronized swimming. Brownies and Juniors and Girl Scouts. Piano lessons all the way through Grade 4, the Brown Book. And finally, art.

In middle school, someone told my folks about a woman a couple of miles away teaching young teens drawing and painting in her basement. Mrs. Marinello had about 6 of us at her home after supper on Tuesday nights. We drew and painted, and each of us worked at our own speed. She supplied all the paper and paints and props.

This lady was a beautiful, talented artist whose work hung in big museums and private collections and she loved sharing her time with kids. She painted intricate hunt scenes showing dozens of people on horseback with black-and-white dogs in lush woods. The paintings were gorgeous and huge. She always hid the fox in the foliage.

I painted a little in high school but never really got along with the art teacher there. I should have had art classes in architecture school, yet weaseled out of them by showing my portfolio to my advisor. My last paintings were on the walls of my parents’ basement where I later set up a studio while in architecture school. They were mainly doodles, some nudes, a Buddha, the logo from Woodstock, and one giant copy of the album cover “Quadrophenia,” which I did all in Payne’s Gray (more a deep blue/black color than gray).

I satisfied my artistic side in other ways over the years. But I never threw away my paints. Early this year I got them out again and started painting. I could not believe how great it felt. At first it was awkward, but talking about it with other artists helped me work through the weirdness.

I am trying to lose some of the perfectionism of my architecture career and embrace more serendipity in my work; hence, most of my work is abstract. That is not to say it is random paint on canvas. It’s just that rather than create something dependent on outside constructs and limits, I let the design come from the painting itself.

It’s a technique a good friend and talented artist taught me: step back and see what the painting has to say, then elaborate on it. I’m starting to get it. And I really enjoy it.



Come to my show!About Sharon:  In the ten months that Sharon has rediscovered painting, she produced 22 paintings — while holding down a full-time job! You can see all of her paintings on her Flickr account, bloomgal.

Sharon will join other artists at the Black Market Goods art show in Albuquerque on October 20. Black Market Goods is organized by Josh Jones, whose motto is “Bad ass art for bad ass people.”

These are dynamic, emerging artists whose work will tantalize and inspire. If you live in Albuquerque, get yourself to the show. Support art and artists in this city.

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